To Be Read

To Be Read | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for February. I am going to try to keep this TBR small so I can have some mood reading throughout the month as well, but we shall see how that goes. I have really been enjoying nonfiction lately, so this TBR could go out the window, but I have a few books I would like to get to regardless of my mood.


The Books

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, I was recommended this book on twitter by Amy when I recently put a post out to ask for nonfiction recommendations. As I mentioned I have been on a huge kick for nonfiction so I really want to get to this. I was so happy to see it sitting in my local bookstore.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, I want to read this book for a few reasons, the first being it is the book that has been on my TBR the longest. The second being it was my late aunts favorite book. I figure it would be a good book to throw into this months reading plans because all the other books are a bit more dense with world building, tough but essential conversations, and horror.

Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, here is a book that is tied to one of my 2021 goals. You can see more details on it on my post entitled, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. This is a book I have heard nothing but wonderful things and was placed on the Man Booker Shortlist last year. I am really excited to finally get to reading it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am rereading this as a buddy read with Lauren this month and I could not be more excited. I loved this book the first time I read it and I loved the show. Now that I am writing this out I kinda want to rewatch the show this weekend. lol.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, as some of you know, if you read my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of Robin Hobbs series this year. I read the first book last month and I really want to keep up the momentum and read a book a month so I am not tying to stuff them into my reading and not enjoy them as much as I know I will.


If you are looking for a recommendation for Black History Month please see this tweet posted by Ibram X. Kendi on twitter. You can also check out this thread by Lane that showcases new releases by black authors.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my wrap up for the first month of 2021! I ended up reading a lot of nonfiction, but honestly I really liked what I read. Who would have thought the year would have stated off like that? Anyway, here are the books I finished reading this month.


The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, MississippiThe Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book ended up having a ton inside of it. It had the story of Price Abd al-rahman Ibrahima, a history of a town built on slavery. The author goes into the history without sugar coating like quite a few of the people who live there do. He discusses the relationships and views between many of the towns citizens and how varied they are on the topic of their history itself and racism. He also highlights that there has been progress, but a lot more needs to be done. This town in particular was a very interesting microcosm of society as a whole to read about. I really liked how the author went to the town itself and interviewed many people within the town. Older people, younger people, white, black and those who lived there for generations and those who recently moved in.

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Assassin's Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition (Farseer Trilogy, #1)Assassin’s Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the start of this trilogy so much more than I thought I would. I thought it would be bogged down by world building, but it was done in such a masterfully natural way. I enjoyed the 1st period perspective, mainly because I enjoyed our main character Fitz so much. I am excited to continue this series next month.

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The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Not Quite OutNot Quite Out by Louise Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Given review copy via publisher in exchange of an honest review.

I really enjoyed the story quite a bit, a more detailed review will be posted on my blog on February 16th!

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TomieTomie by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read quite a few of Junji Ito’s work and I have loved all of those very much. As with those, his imagination and ideas are very original and the artwork is wonderful. Unfortunately about 1/3 of the way through this I started to loose interest because the plot began to feel repetitive.

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I managed to read a total of 9 books, 3,986 pages. Six of those books were fiction and the remaining 3 were nonfiction. I read 1 ebook, 1 audiobook, 5 hard cover and 2 soft cover books. I borrowed one of the books read this month from the library. I have 2 5 star reads, 6 4 star read and 1 3 star read.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter November 2019

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So, earlier this month I posted an unhaul where I got rid of a huge number of books from my shelf. Well, now I am going to be doing a try a chapter to really target the books on my TBR shelf. Now, I have noticed that my reading taste is changing again and stuff I normally feel I would like, I am not enjoying anymore. So, I thought I would read the first chapter of a couple of books and decide if I want to keep them or add them to the donation pile.


The Bone House by Emily Lloyd-Jones (standalone)

The start was pretty interesting, but already had a cliche that kinda lost me. I really liked the idea of this book, but big sister who has to take care of family after an event is played out in my eyes and I bores me. I think I am going to pass on this, unhaul. 

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks (series)

I read the preface and the first chapter since the preface was only a few pages. I have to say I am intrigued as to what is going to happen, but there seems to be interesting family dynamics in here that I hope the author explores more. I am a little torn on this, because the writing style isn’t really mine. I decided to unhaul this book after reading the first chapter of the others. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (series)

I think I am going to like this one, I really liked how the story started with folklore of sorts, but also a bit of grim foreshadowing. It seems like it is going to be very interesting and atmospheric. While it is promising, it didn’t really pull me in too much, but I am intrigued. After reading the others, I decided to unhaul. 

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (standalone)

I think this is the one  I am most interested in and I think I am going to be jumping into this a reading it right away. I really like the personality of the main character and the fact it is a historical fiction is just a wonderful bonus. Keeping

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (series)

This book seems so unique and really started with a bang. This is another one I know I wont be able to put down long. The writing is amazing and from what I read in the prologue (13 pages) is very imaginative and unafraid to be emotional. Keeping

Dear Haiti, Love Aline by Mika and Maritza Moulite (standalone, BookCon was 2019 Gift)

I really like Alaine’s voice, she seems like a really awesome character. I also had no idea this book was written in a diary type format, which I am totally here for. I ended up reading 21 pages, I didn’t stop at the first chapter oops. Keeping

Middlemarch by George Eliot (standalone)

It is really hard to tell if I am going to like this book or not, the main reason being the formatting and mistypes I already found in the first chapter. It made it a but hard to read. I am going to give this another try, but with an audiobook. Keeping


Keeping: 4

Unhauling: 3


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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To Be Read

June TBR | 2019

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Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Wintersong By S. Jae-Jones

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Wintersong (Wintersong, #1)* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

What I Liked 

This book just felt like I was reading magic. As soon as I opened up my ebook I was sucked into the book and I could not put it down. I think I read this in a total of only 3 sittings. The main reason behind it was due to the characters. I really enjoyed Liesl and as the book went on I liked her even more. She was real because she had her faults. I hate when a character is just too perfect, it makes the story seem so fake. Another reason was the descriptions, S. Jae Jones paints the settings so well. I could close my eyes and feel like I could see everything. This book just swallowed me whole, it invoked real emotions from me and broke my heart. While I would love to keep gushing, I am a bit afraid I would end up spoiling some things for you. Bottom line is, the characters are well written and the world is vivid and beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that was a problem only some of the time was the pacing. At times it did feel slow, but this was not a constant issue in the plot. Even though it is not a constant, it is worth noting before jumping into this book.

Overall Thoughts

I ended up very much enjoying this book. I plan on eventually picking up the next book in the series. It delivered on is promise of adventure, brave young women, and a lot of heartache. Between her feelings for her sister and what she needs goes through as she goblin realm there is a lot going on in this book. Overall if you enjoy retellings and fantasy, this book is for you. Divider

Book Information

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: February 7th 2017

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781250079213

Pages: 436 pages

Divider
I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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Wrap Up

JUNE 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

5 Stars:

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I finally got around to finishing A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I have to say the ending blew me away completely. It has me very excited for the next book in the series. I am currently am in line to get it from my library so I can read it at the beach without ruining my copy.

4 Stars:

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Another book I got to during the month of June is The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember. I read this short book in a single day and I was very invested in the main character. This is a LGBTQ+ retelling/twist between Ursula from the little mermaids childhood and Norse mythology. This book would have easily been a 5 stars, but there was a scene that happened between our main character and her love interest that made me a little uncomfortable. Even with that small scene I adored this book.

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The first book I finished in June was It by Stephen King. This huge tome that is over 1000 pages was totally worth it. It was creepy and intriguing, it has me very excited for the remake that is coming out later this year.

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Some of this book I loved, the other parts I did not enjoy at all. I enjoyed all the nods to other words such as Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and more. But, this book just rubbed me the wrong way sometimes. I just got angry at it, not at the characters. I found myself thinking, “Why? There was no reason for this!” Beginning is great, then ending is amazing, but the middle falls a little flat. If you can push yourself through the middle of the book you are golden!

Bingo Update

JulyBingo

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What did you read this month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Birthday Book Haul!

Book Haul

Some of you may have know, but my birthday was a few days ago and I was lucky enough to get a few books for my birthday this year. Normally my family and friends just pick out gift cards from Barns and Noble or Amazon so I can pick some stuff for myself, which is great. But, it is very nice when someone picks a book or books out just for you. Here are the books friends and family got me this year.

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The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

The first book my Mom picked up for me is The Invention of Nature because she knows I enjoy science, nature, and non-fiction. Even though in my picture you can only see the spine, click the title to look at the actual cover. It is absolutely beautiful. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, I read the description (below) and it sounds really interesting. I cannot wait to eventually pick it up and read it.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.

– via goodreads


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

This is the second of three books my Mom picked up for me. I have been really into suspense/thriller reads as of late. Once again I read the description and was very happy with this pick. There is a great mixture of mystery and history. I am very excited to see what unfolds in this book.

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace.

– via goodreads


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is the last book my Mom picked out for me. I read The Goldfinch and generally liked it overall, but found faults with it. You can read a little bit more of my review in my post  #TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up. Anyway, my mom picked this up because I have mentioned I have wanted to try another book by her. This one is much shorter so I am more confident this book will not have the same large flaws, fingers crossed!

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

– via goodreads


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One of my best friends picked this up for me because I LOVED The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I was so happy when I finally got it open. My friend loves to wrap presents in a way that makes it very difficult to open so she can watch people struggle. She put it in a box, surrounded it by two bags, and then wrapped it completely in duct tape. I was not allowed to use scissors. Anyway, I was so excited to get it open AND it to be this book.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

– via goodreads


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

My wonderful boyfriend bought me a personalized autograph copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I am so grateful and excited! I am so worried to actually read this because I don’t want to ruin it. I may put in a call to the library and carry that one around instead.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court.

– via goodreads


I am so happy with the book I received for my birthday and I wanted to once again thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday. It meant so much to me. Have a great day and happy reading!

What book would you pick to read out of the ones mentioned?

 

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Reviews

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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I read Falling Kingdoms with a book club in April 2016. Honestly, I would not have picked up this book if it were not for the book club. The reason for this is that as of late I have been moving away from YA books, the summary and other reviews I had read were all very positive and interesting.

This book is often described as the YA version of Game of Thrones and honestly this is not an over statement. It is very, very similar in a few ways. They follow different houses throughout the book, has many points of view, it mostly discusses war and love, and it takes place in a fantasy made up world. The author does not use the same characters, world, or anything along that manner, but it is very similar. There is a lot of conflict and a lot of surprise killings of characters you begin to love. Both of these are common in Game of Thrones.

I will say without comparing the two Falling Kingdoms is a very good book. It is a beautifully created world, although at times it seems that enough is not explained. They characters at least in the first book of this series seem very predictable, but still surprise you from time to time. This is a very well done first book in a series.

Honestly I do not see myself picking up the next book in this series any time soon, not because it isn’t book. The main reason is that I want to read other books more. I may pick it up down the line, but as I said I am moving away from YA. I ended up rating this book 4/5 starts. It currently sits at 3.86 out of 24,398 ratings, so not far off my own thoughts. If you like fantasy, conflict , and multiple perspectives I would say give this book a try.